Real marriage is the ‘powerhouse of society’

Apr 8, 2023

Roman Catholic hospital chaplain Fr Patrick Pullicino has recently been awarded £10,000 by an NHS trust after he was fired over his views on marriage. When a patient asked him for his opinion about his wish to enter a same-sex marriage, he replied: ‘what would God say?’ Patrick spoke to me about the “curious … strange and unexpected” circumstances surrounding his sacking.

Patrick tells me that he didn’t have a “very long conversation” with the patient, who was himself a Roman Catholic. “Following that”, Patrick said, “I heard there had been a complaint registered”.

He was dismissed as chaplain, and was informed by the then Chief Executive that, “the Trust’s policy on equality and diversity takes precedence over religious belief”. His position remains unfilled, which Patrick says supports his view that “chaplains are almost seen as a burden”.

According to Patrick, real marriage is “the powerhouse of society … if that is not maintained in society, society will quickly deteriorate, as we’re seeing in a lot of places”.

Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, Patrick says the NHS “have become a law unto themselves”. Responding to why he felt he had to take legal action against South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, he concludes: “When a situation is handed to you … you’ve got to do your little bit”.

C4M knows that real marriage cannot be replaced, redefined or eradicated. We agree it is the stabilising bedrock of society. All public bodies – especially the NHS – should recognise the evidence in support of the mental and physical health benefits of real marriage, and its positive impact on society.